01/31/10 — Snow Day - Children enjoy the snow

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Snow Day - Children enjoy the snow

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on January 31, 2010 2:30 AM

For children across Wayne County, the only bad part about waking up Saturday morning to see their yards covered in snow and ice was that it was a Saturday morning.

"I just wish it was a school day," said Joshua Wright, 8.

Playing with three of his friends, Dawson Robertson, 8, Hayden Robertson, 5, and Nora Strickland, 9, the foursome was spending the afternoon throwing snowballs, knocking down icicles and making snow angels along Musgrave Street in Pikeville.

"We'd like snow all the time," Dawson said.

A short ways away, Paulette Leftdwrige and her daughter, Deanna, 15, were out for a stroll along Goldsboro Street. Deanna seemed to be having more fun.

"I'm not into snow," her mother said.

Deanna, on the other hand, was glad to see the white stuff.

"We don't get this weather often," she said, "It's nice to have something different."

Elsewhere others were also taking advantage of the rare wintery weather.

On Western Wayne Drive in western Wayne County, a group of teenagers were riding all-terrain vehicles, taking advantage of the slippery ground to spin and cut doughnuts. Alan Odom, 15, Taylor Phillips, 14, Brandon Brock, 13 and Zachary Langston, 14, had rigged a car hood behind one of the vehicles as a makeshift sled.

A few blocks away, on Johnston Avenue, Brian Evans and his neighbor, Chris Lassiter, were using a golf cart to pull Evans' son, Weston, 5, who was bundled up to his eyes and riding on a sled.

Just outside Fremont, Daniel Flores and his wife, Paula, along with their children, Brie Freeman, 13, and Gage Freeman, 9, were using the steep banks of the I-795 exit as a sledding hill, with great success.

"I grew up in upstate New York," Paula said as she prepared for a downhill slalom.

"We're always ready for the snow to show up," said Daniel, who grew up in Ohio.

In Goldsboro, evidence of fun days could be seen in the sled tracks crisscrossing wherever there was a hill and the various snowmen -- no matter how small -- dotting people's yards.

Just after 11 a.m., Pamela Rojas was lying on her stomach with arms and feet extended, waiting for her father, Jaime, to give her sled a quick push.

She shouted when he finally got her going.

"Whoa," she said, as she made her way down a lawn just off Walnut Street. "Yeah."

Her brother, Gabriel was right behind her, screaming as he, too, took a slide toward the road.

"I'm going to go again," the 9-year-old said. "But faster."

A street over and a few blocks down, however, Miller Gerard, 13, and his siblings, Hayes, 10, and Cam, 7, and their cousin, Madeline Edwards, weren't having any trouble going fast as their father, Ken Gerrard pulled them up and down the 2000 block of Mulberry Street near Stoney Creek Park.

"Long time, couple hours at least," Gerrard said at about 3 p.m. when asked how long they had been outside in front of his wife, Laura's, parent's house. "We've just been pulling through the neighborhood."

And for the four kids, the afternoon had been a blast -- even if Miller had to be talked into going along with it, Gerrard said, laughing as his son sheepishly nodded and Hayes explained that being pulled "seems a lot faster" than the couple miles per hour the tractor was traveling.

Growing up on that same street, Gerard said taking advantage of the slight hill was something of a tradition.

"We've played on this same hill here for 20 years. We're hoping as it gets colder and ices up a bit, we can go without the tractor," he said.

That concern about icing up was on Steven Kennedy's mind Saturday as he tried to shovel the sidewalk in front of Spirit-Filled Family Worship Center on Ash Street. Kennedy, who works as a sound technician at the church, said he wanted to make sure things would be OK for today's activities.

"We were doing a program for tomorrow. We don't know if we're going to have a service, but probably will, so we're just out this morning making sure everything is prepared for tomorrow," he said Saturday.

But even he couldn't help getting caught up in his children's exuberance as they played rather than help.

"It's fun. I was just playing in it," Anthony, 5, said as he made snowballs.

"He already threw one at his sister," Kennedy said, helping Shyann clear some of the icy aftermath from the hood of her pink jacket.

And so even big kids were out looking for fun -- despite requests from emergency officials and others that people refrain from unnecessary trips.

Chrystal Holmes of Mount Olive was one of those who didn't stay inside.

Ms. Holmes, who said she loves snow, had been out "playing since about 9:30 Saturday morning" driving to Summerlins Crossroads, Beautancus and back to Mount Olive.

"I was just riding looking at everything trying not to hit the ditch and having fun doing it," she said.

She said that during that time she had not seen many people until she got to the Piggly Wiggly in Mount Olive where she was going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for her mother.

"This morning there was hardly anybody at all on the roads," she said.

-- Staff Writer Steve Herring and Assistant News Editor Matthew Whittle contributed to this report.